Getting hurt or injured on the job can be frightening and is often the cause of anger, anxiety, and fear. Often these fears revolve around the employee thinking that they will be fired or it was their fault.
Fortunately, the law protects injured workers in Illinois. Employers cannot fire or retaliate against someone for filing a worker’s compensation claim.
There are a few initial steps that you need to take if you are injured on the job.
Report the injury to your supervisor / manager / or HR department.
In Illinois, you have 45 days to report the injury to your employer. Sometimes you will be provided with a sheet to fill out. Fill it out completely and mention all body parts that currently hurt.
*Note that the 45 day requirement is when an injury is realized or when you can no longer perform your duties. This issue comes up in repetitive trauma cases.
Best Practice: When you need to go home or go to the doctor, tell your employer you were hurt and what you were doing.
Go to the Doctor, immediately.
Some employers will make you go to their doctor. This is a requirement. Often times these doctors will provide medication and tell you to return to work. These doctors are literally hired by your company to make this representation.
If the employer does not have a list of doctors to see, go to your own doctor, the immediate care clinic, or the emergency room (depending on the severity of your injury).
Be sure to tell the doctor that this is worker’s compensation and you were injured at work.
Best Practice: Seek treatment immediately and do not be afraid to seek out your own doctor or choice of doctors to give you treatment advice.
Write down everything you remember.
As soon as your condition stabilizes, write down everything you remember. Who was around when you had your accident (witnesses)? Who did you report the accident to? What were you doing when the accident occurred? Where did the accident happen (in the shop, on the road, what town/city)? When did you accident happen (date)?
This will assist you and your lawyer in some of the details of the claim, if ever challenged.
Be Skeptical of insurance adjustersInsurance adjusters have two main goals:
- Attempt to deny your claim
- And to save the insurance company money.
Hire an attorney.
There are attorneys who specialize in Worker’s Compensation. Cronauer Law has years of experience with all types of worker’s compensation claims. We will help guide you through the legal process and ensure that you are treated fairly, paid for any time off, resolve any denied medical bills, and get you the appropriate compensation for your work injury.